Top five in the league? Considering he did not get a top five vote on any of the 171 ballots cast for the Hart Trophy as MVP this year, no. And he wasn't in my top five and I don't know how deep my ballot would have been to get him on there. Is he a top 20 player? That's more of a discussion. His two-way play has improved considerably in the past few years, and winning a Stanley Cup will drive home the importance off that even more.
He would fill the requirement of not requiring a long deal, I suppose, and he would certainly jump at the chance to play for a team with a chance at the Cup. And he is from Saskatchewan. But I suspect his production path is headed only one way.
Yes. I think they'd like to get that taken care of as soon as they can. Makes everyone's life easier.
For his sake, he'd better.
I think the Blues would like that more than Calgary would
Colorado is betting on its blue-line depth. If Makar and Girard don't pan out, the Avs will have solved one problem and created another. I liked what I saw of Makar in the playoffs but boy is that a limited sample size. But he's got a solid resume.
Here's the obligatory point where I say it's a great time to ask more questions.
But it's always a great time to ask questions
He'll turn 30 midway through next season, so five would be a good number for the Blues, though I would think his body is going to hold up better than Backes' as he gets older. (Or, I'd bet on a 35-year-old Pietrangelo being better than a 35-year-old Backes.) Pietrangelo, of course, will want all the years he can get. As for AAV, $7.5 million per year? $8 million? That might be too much at the end, but maybe not enough at the beginning.
I have historically been a free market guy. If a team wants to spend gobs of money, let them. And the players earn what they get. In a non-cap world, they probably get more than they earn. However, the cap is here and it isn't going to change. And maybe that's necessary when you have a team like Toronto and a team like Carolina, teams with very different income streams. But back in the pre-cap days, where teams were pleading financial hardship, most of it was because they did a bad job of running their teams. One off the things this has caused is hockey's middle class vanishing. You either make a lot or you make a little. There's very little in between. That's where Pat Maroon was this season. It's why Scottie Upshall kept coming to camp on a PTO. Rookies locked into an entry level deal don't make much, and you need that to make ends meet. You can't field a team without that. The league likes the parity it creates, where every team but Buffalo seems to have a chance every season.
With Lehner in goal, and if Crawford gets healthy, they could be very dangerous very soon. Good goaltending covers up for a lot of sins.
Berube yesterday, Parayko today, Edmundson in Manitoba next week. Those are the only dates I've heard for sure. O'Reilly said that when he gets the Cup, he gets to bring the Smythe and the Selke along too since those Cups reside in Toronto and aren't that far from him. Jim Thomas was with Berube yesterday in Alberta.
As Larry Pleau told me a few hundred times -- usually every time he acquired a defenseman -- you can never have too many defensemen. I was surprised they kept Gunnarsson because it seems to block one of the youngsters from moving up. Presumably this means the Blues feel the young d-men can use a bit more seasoning. But Reinke and Mikkola figure to get at least a few games in somewhere. You have to think Schmaltz's days are past. And this camp may be the last chance for Walman.
Since Schmaltz now has to go through waivers to be sent down, if it's clear he's not making the team, I'm sure the Blues would look to get something in return rather than losing him to a waiver claim. Unless, of course, they think no one would claim him. And at the start of the season, when a lot of players are being sent down, that's a good possibility.
I would guess it's a personal thing. For Chris Butler, I think yes. A younger player may not feel the same way. Though this season for the Blues, there were two groups of Black Aces. They called up several guys, such as Kostin, but sent them home before the Final. So he probably doesn't feel that way. But for Reinke, Butler, Nolan and Husso, who were there every day, yes. And definitely for Thorburn.
Thanks for all the readers who have read our stuff, who subscribe to the paper, who take part in the chats, listen to the podcasts, and attended our Sports on Tap last week. We couldn't do it without you.
I'm sure someone was. Probably more than one. But what can you do? Ultimately, the memory of the Stanley Cup and the party will overwhelm anything Hull said or did.
Too soon to say much on trades. The Blues, in general, are very happy with their roster as it currently stands.
Are we finally in a world where Arizona is competing for something? They came close last year and added Kessel. Will that make them better or not? Historically, when Arizona acquires someone in a trade, they aren't playing any more.
But for more detailed answers on these kind of questions, I'll point you in the direction of Jeff Gordon's chat.